Surf's Up is a 2007 American Academy Award-nominated computer-animated mockumentary film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It stars the voices of Shia LaBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder among others.
It is Sony Pictures Animation's second film, the first being Open Season on September 29, 2006. The American premiere occurred on June 8. It is directed by Ash Brannon (the co-director of Toy Story 2) and Chris Buck (the director of Tarzan). Pre-production for Surf's Up began in 2002.
Eventually, talent scout Mikey Abromowitz (voiced by Mario Cantone) arrives in Shiverpool scouting for surfers to compete in the Big Z Memorial Surf Contest. Cody joins the group, once he'd proven himself to Mikey, and quickly befriends Chicken Joe (voiced by Jon Heder), an easy-going surfer from Wisconsin. Soon after arriving at Pen Gu Island, Cody crosses paths with the local lifeguard named Lani Aliikai (voiced by Zooey Deschanel) as she rescues the penguin child, Arnold, from "drowning." Shortly thereafter, Cody has an altercation with the egotistical Tank "The Shredder" Evans (voiced by Diedrich Bader), a large muscular penguin and nine time winner of the Big Z Competition, when he witnesses Tank hurling stones at Big Z's memorial shrine. The disturbance catches the attention of promoter Reggie Belefonte, all too eager to allow Cody to challenge Tank to a surf-off on the spot. Unfortunately Cody's inexperience with the challenges the competition has to offer leads to a terrible wipeout, unable to come up for a proper breath of air, he is pulled under and injured when he steps on a fire urchin. Lani takes the injured and unconscious Cody to the jungle home of a hermit called the Geek (voiced by Jeff Bridges) in order to get help for his injuries and to recuperate. The Geek studies the injury, removes the urchin spire, and uses an old trick taught to him to heal the poisonous sting, urinating on it.
By morning Cody is woken by the Geek, who is eager to remove the young surfer from his premises. On the escort back, Cody realizes that he has lost his Big Z necklace. Geek is less than impressed, though shows curious reactions to Cody's tale of Big Z and how Cody received said necklace. He shows Cody the route back to the beach, and leaves the young penguin be. A short time having passed, Geek has found Cody's necklace in his hut and quickly returns to the path fork, finding Cody still sitting on the log, and returns the Big Z necklace. As if in an effort to make up with the surfer-to-be, Geek notices the log's type, Koa (of which all the best surfboards are made), and decides for Cody that they're making him a surfboard. Cody, bemused and surprised, reluctantly agrees and the two attempt to haul the log back to Geek's hut.
A little slip up on Cody's part and soon the log is rolling in the opposite direction, with Geek soon with it. The log ends up flying off a cliff, Geek, however, stays hanging on for dear life on the cliff itself. After a quick rescue from Cody, the young surfer notices what the cliff looks over: a beautiful and pristine beach. Unable to contain his curiosity, Cody treks down the steep cliff, inadvertently taking Geek with him. On the beach now, Cody explores a toppled tree and soon realizes it houses several old surfboards, those of Big Z's. Geek is seen investigating a dilapidated shack littered with messages of grief from Big Z's fans, and from his reaction, Cody realizes that the Geek is Big Z.
Almost instantly, Cody's excitement that his lifetime hero still lives is unleashed in a torrent of questions and theories as to what happened, much to the chagrin of Z, who quickly takes to hiding within his old home. Cody is now convinced that this is his chance, with his hero by his side to train him, he can win the Memorial Surf Off no question. Eventually Cody lures Z from the hut, having pulled Z's old boards from their resting spot and attempting to surf with them out in the crystal blue ocean. Cody takes a few more wipeouts as he attempts to get Z in the water, but slowly manages to work tips from Big Z, Z, however, is still not impressed, and with one last (and Z predicted) wave, Cody is pulled ashore ("Don't touch my stuff, man.") and told that he won't be doing any surfing until he has made a board of his own.
Eager Cody and mellow Z finally get to work on the Koa board, halving the log from earlier, and getting a pattern drawn. The two are quickly at odds with one another, Cody becoming frustrated with his mentor's overbearing attitude towards the board ("No, no I don't want your help!"). Z backs off, and allows Cody to pry his way through the wood, creating a "work in progress" gouged plank that quickly snaps once actually in the water. Cody becomes irritated and leaves the beach, leaving Z and the documentary crew behind (Z offering them barbecue cooked over the broken wood). He's soon reunited with Lani, on her way to Geek's hut with a satchel full of clams. It is revealed that Lani knew of Geek's true persona, she was his niece, and in her very own excitement, she takes Cody to a special spot on the island, the Lava Tubes. After a thrilling race through the tubes and a "winning" landing in glow worm droppings, a shower, and a talk, Lani convinces Cody to return to Z. Cody complies, realizing his folly, and returns to Z's beach, beginning work on a new surfboard under the bright moonlight.
By morning, he has finished the board, Z is surprised and pleased, Cody has successfully created a proper board this time. Z, being the playful sort, puts Cody through a few more land-based tests first, before he allows Cody in the water, all intended to make Cody realize that surfing should be about having fun, and not contests and winning. Once the young surfer has proven that to Big Z, they're off to the water! A true feat, Z's first attempt at surfing in over 10 years proves that he's still the soul surfer he always was. Lani soon arrives on the beach and joins the duo as they surf the rest of the day away.
Now evening, Cody, Lani, and Zeke are resting beside a fire, cooking a few shrimp, Z is entertaining them with his personal ukelele song, while Cody waxes his new board. Cody soon asks Big Z to come and watch him surf in the Big Z Memorial Surf competition. Z is highly reluctant, becoming irritated with the questioning, but ashamedly reveals the truth behind his disappearance. 10 years ago, winning had become everything to Z, he was facing Tank Evans in a Reggie Belafonte backed contest, and realizes soon enough that he couldn't beat the then up-and-coming Tank. Not wanting to end up a loser and wash-up to his fans and friends, Z decided the only right choice was to disappear.
On that last big wave, Z lets go of his board, allowing it to careen into the Boneyards, himself slipping off into the wave and out of sight, permanently. Cody is in disbelief, his hero had given up. Tossing his necklace into the dark waves, Cody storms off, intending to win the contest alone. Cody continues through the forest and is caught in a trap set by the natives of Pen Gu island. Chicken Joe appears, having been looking for Cody ever since his disappearance, and since had befriended and apparently traveling with the Pen Gu-ins, retrieves Cody just as the horn blows for the start of the Surf Off.
The first waves remove most of the surfers from the contest, leaving Tank, Cody and Chicken Joe to continue on. Things become heated and Tank makes it clear his intentions to take out Chicken Joe, leaving Cody with an opportunity to win, an opportunity he does not take. Instead he clashes with Tank, sending them both to "The Boneyard", a section normally roped off and considered the most dangerous section due to the rough nature of the waves and the lacerating and towering rock formations. Tank is knocked out cold after colliding with some of the rocks, Lani rescues Tank and brings him to shore while Cody hangs on to dear life on any surface he can grab. Big Z appears and with the help of a particularly large and crashing wave, rescues Cody from the dangers of the Boneyard. Once together on Z's old board they exhaustedly paddle safely to shore. Finally ashore, Z is quickly revealed to the curious and questioning onlookers. After standing up to Reggie in his attempt to auction off the "deceased" Cody's board, Z invites everyone to his old beach spot to surf. Cody finishes talking with the documentary crew at this point and joins his friends in the water. Having learned that friendship and fun is the heart behind surfing, Cody finally catches a tube with Big Z. The film ends with Z, Cody, Lani, and many others surfing the waves as the sun sets.
|1||"Reggae Got Soul"||311|
|3||"Stand Tall"||Dirty Heads|
|4||"Lose Myself"||Lauryn Hill|
|5||"Just Say Yes"||Ken Andrews|
|6||"Forrowest"||Forro In the Dark|
|7||"Pocket Full Of Stars"||Nine Black Alps|
|8||"Into Yesterday"||Sugar Ray|
|9||"Big Wave"||Pearl Jam|
|10||"Wipe Out"||Big Nose|
|11||"Run Home (Instrumental)"||Priestess|
|12||"What I Like About You"||The Romantics|
|13||"You Get What You Give"||The New Radicals|
|14||"Hawaiian War Chant (Ta-Hu-Wa-Hu-Wai)"||Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys|
Two songs by Green Day, "Welcome to Paradise" and "Holiday", are used for background music in the film. However, neither song appears on the official soundtrack album, likely due to the profanity in the songs. In the primary teaser trailer, the song "Get on Top" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers can be heard in the background, but that too wasn't included in the soundtrack. Again, possibly due to profanity and the song's subject matter of prostitution. "Welcome to Paradise" was also used in the second trailer promoting Surf's Up, as well as "Three Little Birds" by Sean Paul featuring Ziggy Marley.
The DVD and Blu-Ray behind-the-scenes featurette entitled "Making Waves" features the song "The Water", performed by Venice (band). This also does not appear on the "Surf's Up" soundtrack, but can be found on Venice's "Garage Demos Part 2: Fast Stuff" CD.
Tracks are as follows:
The film took in a respectable $5.8 M on its opening day, though it did open at number 4 at the box office. After one weekend, the film grossed $17,640,249. As of November 30 2007, the film has grossed $58,867,694 domestically and $82,152,010 in the remaining markets, bringing the worldwide gross to $141,019,704.
Indeed, the film pulled a bit of an upset by being nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature in January 2008. While Ratatouille (the eventual winner) and Persepolis were widely regarded as being certain nominees, some thought that the third nominee in this category would be The Simpsons Movie. The announcement that Surf's Up had secured a place instead came as a surprise to some.
To promote the movie's release, surfboard wax bearing the movie's logo and a rendering of Cody was given out at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con
In the Australian market, a few small plush characters of Cody, Lani, Chicken Joe, and Geek replace some of the toys in the US lineup.
Promoting the release of the film on DVD, the "Cool Kids Combos" at Carl's Jr. locations included Halloween themed Trick-Or-Treat bags with Halloween inspired Surf's Up characters on either side (Lani in witch garb, Cody as a vampire). A two-sided puzzle was available, as well as a figurine of the Geek, including stickers.
There appear to be one other set of toys available in the Cool Kids meals as well. Those included are a Cody figurine with spring-launch surfboard, a Lani figurine that balances on a surfboard, Chicken Joe, a bobble type figure, much like the McDonald's release. The last toy is a set of stickers with two backgrounds.
Kold-To-Go Thermal Insulated Surf's Up Bags
Coldkeepers, LLC made a custom printed thermal insulated Kold-To-Go bag featuring the Surf's Up movie lead characters. The bags were sold from May to July 2007 in major grocery store chains across the nation. official site
Build A Bear stores sold plush toys of the film's protagonist, Cody Maverick. Patrons could "build" their own Cody as well as dress him up in an array of surf-themed clothing and other accessories in Build A Bear workshops. They could also purchase Cody and accessories at the official site
Air Heads Candy
There was also a tie-in with the candy Air Heads which introduces a "New Wave" flavor (pineapple) and four collectible lenticular motion surf board shaped pieces. The characters included are as follows:
It should be noted that the bios on the boards are mistaken in places. Cody is "seventeen years of age" in the film, and Geek is listed as an emperor penguin in source material.
Several special edition Surf's Up ice cream flavors were offered, including "Splish Splash" and "Penguin Swirl"
Surf's Up Little Tub Surfers
Five inch waterproof plush tub toys released by Jakks Pacific in minimal quantities to most major retailers. Five characters were produced, including Cody, Tank, Big Z, Arnold, & Chicken Joe. Each character has an attached washcloth/surfboard, but sport questionable likenesses (and in the case of Chicken Joe, entirely off model, bearing more of a resemblance to Mikey).
Several plushes from Nanco intended for claw machines can also be found and purchased in varying sizes (from 6 inches to 11 inches to 17 inches). Characters available: Cody, Lani, Tank, Geek, Big Z, Chicken Joe, and Reggie Belefonte.
A rare set of larger (Geek measures 15 inches) and higher quality plushes had been made available at the premiere's after party. Won either through available games, or given away with gift sets for attendees. Cody, Lani, Arnold and Geek were created and so far no plans for the dolls to be sold commercially have appeared.
There are Cody and Lani themed comforters (full, twin, single), bed sheet sets, and throw pillows available. As well as children's underwear with Geek and Cody's visage on the garments. Several trinkets such as Surf's Up charm bracelets, necklaces, and character key chains exist. Six Surf's Up eggs that allow you to "hatch" a character and let it grow in water are also available. A series of children's 100 piece puzzles are available as well depicting various characters and setups.
The movie saw the release of an extensive batch of printed media, mostly aimed towards young children.
Along with the release of the film, a companion Surf's Up video game was released for all the current video gaming systems on the market. All versions of the game are the same with mild graphical differences, with only the Nintendo DS version changing the overall format.